“I don’t worry about being overexposed because all our shows were different,” says Josh Damigo, whose band the Freeloaders just finished a seven-month-long weekly residency at House of Blues. “We never had a setlist, we never told the same joke. Well, we told a few of the same jokes.” Damigo previously did a two-year monthly stint at Lestat’s. “We called that one the Friends with Benefits show; it raised money for local charities as well as melting faces off. Acoustically, of course.”
Many musicians feel longterm residencies, particularly at corporate-run venues, are counterproductive to building an audience, especially for recording artists for whom touring is a more common long-haul game plan. Damigo counters, “I wasn’t in a financial spot to be able to tour. I’m still not. Gas is expensive. I was also working on the record and couldn’t tour then, so the best thing for me and my band was to team up with the folks at House of Blues.... I hand-picked all openers, and they had to go through a pretty tough scrutiny by the management at HOB in order to be allowed to play our night.”
- Thursday, October 2, 2014, 8 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
Damigo’s album I Will Be There will debut at HOB on Thursday, October 2. “Everyone who attends will receive the new record.... This is going to be one of the biggest shows I’ve ever played in San Diego, with a big band, featuring Bobby Cressey, the organist for the San Diego Padres, Kory McAfee from Stevie & the Hi-Staxx, and Deane Cote, from every band worth listening to in town.”
The day before the release show, Damigo will perform a webcam set via a new house-concert website. “ConcertWindow.com is an online stream where artists can meet their fans in their own living rooms,” he says. “They contacted me about possibly doing a show for them, and I checked out their site. I liked the layout and thought it was a great idea...there’s no competing with the vibe of a live show, but I think this is the next best thing for my listeners who don’t live in San Diego.”
Though the site advises performers about monetizing their online performances, Damigo says, “I’m not sure if I’m even going to make any money. I’m hoping that people will tip as they want, and I doubt I’ll get ‘salesman’ on them or do things to get more tips.
“I’m just gonna be me, and hopefully people will tune in.”